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FAIL


We all know failure!  If a deployment for a critical service fails and negatively impacts business partners and consumers that can not be good.   One would have to consider why did this happen?  And even more critical is, why does it happen more than once? There are times when failure can be viewed as good. That of course is when we admit and then correct the reason or the cause of that failure.  Many organizations struggle with a culture that fosters hiding failure.   It is very difficult in this type of stringent culture to be effective and even more difficult to be efficient and innovative.   Not being able to admit or to discuss failure generally will lead to repeated and more disruptive failure.    What is a service provider supposed to do?  Do we fire individuals who drop the ball and fail?  If so, what size of failure would instigate such an action?  Do we restrict staff from elements or areas of the value stream so that their failure does not have the opportunity to impact us negatively again?  Both of these seem very harsh.  Even so this is the stance that some employers take. 

In order to optimize outcomes for service providers, a shift to a culture that is safe for all levels of management and staff will be required.  A safe environment is one where individuals feel free to speak up and are comfortable to express ideas.  I think it boils down to respect.  Having a culture where “respect” is at the foreground would ensure that we value each individual for what they bring to the table and it means that when mistakes are made leaders and staff alike are very vocal about them.  This means that not only could they admit error or failure but could broadcast it out in such a way as to omit repeat mistakes in the future.  

A safe environment requires high trust and a zeal for learning.  Learning comes from failure.  Some leaders will recognize teams or individuals that enable the organization to learn from failure.  Such awards send a message about their values and that message helps instigate a cultural shift to one that is safe.  High-trust organizations encourage good information flow, cross-functional collaboration, shared responsibilities, learning from failures and new ideas.  They also empower people which enables them to move more quickly. They don’t have to wait for someone else to make a decision or take action.  Companies that really want to show their commitment to success will continue to foster a high trust culture where experimentation and learning are enabled.  They encourage freedom to fail and model how learning from failure can lead to action.  What could you do in your organization to propagate a high trust environment where learning from failure with openness and respect leads to success?

For more information: http://www.itsmacademy.com/brands/DevOps.html and http://www.itsmacademy.com/orgchange/  



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